Healthcare

Implications of the Opioid Crisis During Disaster Response

by Dawn Thomas -

During disaster response, individuals suffering from opioid addiction have both similar and unique needs as compared to those suffering from other types of illness. Emergency responders need the resources to manage opioid-addicted victims of a disaster, and response teams must be appropriately staffed to meet the physical and behavioral health needs of addiction. Response personnel must coordinate closely with local public health officials and other addiction stakeholders to facilitate access to local support services

Unmanned Aerial Systems & Emergency Management

by Kay C. Goss -

Long before the invention of drones, emergency managers determined the overall scope of a crisis using information from emergency personnel on the ground, and from the chain of command created through the Incident Command System. Today, drones have many capabilities that could enhance response activities and change the way disasters are managed. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated how this technology is rapidly changing.

Active Shooter Incidents: The Rescue Task Force Concept

by Robert Mueck -

The concept of the Rescue Task Force (RTF) came from the Arlington County (Virginia) Fire Department. Looking at active shooter events around the country, these fire department leaders created a model that enables emergency medical services (EMS) to provide emergency medical intervention faster and within the Incident Command System (ICS) construct.

When Pandemic Management Meets Cybersecurity

by Nitin Natarajan -

When faced with a health crisis such as a pandemic, the primary objective is ensuring the health and well being of the public and finding the fastest and easiest method to limit the spread of disease and take care of those who are sick. Cyberthreats can hinder public health efforts if mitigation steps are not taken and partners are not engaged before a pandemic or other public health crisis occurs.

Responding to Unique Operating Environments

by Seth Komansky -

First responders are often deployed to unique operating environments, which include large-scale special events with many participants and spectators: street festivals; road races or marathons; concerts; and sporting events. These environments require leadership to take a forward-thinking posture in the planning process to develop strategy. It also relies on front-line personnel to execute tactics that vary from day-to-day operations.

Wearable Sensors for Chemical & Biological Detection

by Richard M. Ozanich -

One of the strengths of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is the ability to conduct comprehensive technology foraging and objective assessments of various technology areas. This article highlights leading research by others in the area of chemical and biological (chem/bio) detection that could be further developed into robust, highly integrated wearables to aid preparedness, response, and recovery.

Fit for Duty: The Resilient Responder

by Anthony S. Mangeri Sr. -

The term “fit for duty” in modern firefighting goes beyond being physically fit to include being resilient to the stress and emotional effects of the job. For individual resilience, this means having the ability to prepare for and recover from stressful events so the responder can return to duty with some sense of normality. To accomplish this, responders must sleep well, eat right, and positively engage with peers.

Legislation Protecting Children in Disasters

by Andrew Roszak -

Emergencies and disasters can have a profound impact on children. However, in 2004-2012, less than $0.01 of every $10 invested by federal emergency preparedness grants went to activities geared toward improving children’s safety. As the federal government plays a major role in funding and directing emergency preparedness, it is encouraging to see recent legislative and policy developments designed to increase planning and preparation for children of all ages.

Building Community Resilience Through Health Equity

by Nicolette Louissaint -

Each person is affected by disasters in different ways. However, the reasons for these disparities stem from factors that can and should be addressed pre-disaster. The public health field is implementing measures to address at-risk communities and to help mitigate public health threats, which increase in magnitude during disasters. The equitable efforts of five cities are shared in this article.

Defining Leadership Options in a Disaster Response

by Wendy W. Nesheim -

Many actively practicing medical professionals are trained and available to deploy to the site of a natural or manmade disaster within hours after an event occurs. Although these medical professionals work with established and traditional leadership styles during their regular “day jobs,” the complex nature of disasters requires leadership approaches in the field that may seem inconsistent or even contradictory.